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After 75 yrs, ashes of WW-II soldiers brought back

Gurugram: In maintaining the tradition of honouring its dead, the Indian Army undertook a challenging task of returning the mortal remains of sepoys Palu Ram of Hisar and Hari Singh of Jhajjar. The two soldiers who had participated in World War -II had gone missing in Italy while fighting the German army during World War-II.

Seventy-five years later the Indian Army in coordination with the Haryana government returned their mortal remains to their families.

"We are proud that our ancestor participated in World War-II. Now, we can immerse his ashes as per our religious rites," said Ramesh Koth, a relative of Palu Ram.

He added that Palu Ram was 19 years old when he took part in the war. He participated as a soldier of the Fourth Battalion of the 13th Frontier Force Rifles, which was under the British Indian Army. He went missing on September 13, 1944, fighting the German Infantry division at Poggio Alto in Italy.

"We were surprised after the Indian Army, in October last year, broke the news about the recovery of his mortal remains," added Ramesh.

In Jhajjar, agriculture minister Om Prakash Dhankar was present when the ashes of Sepoy Hari Singh reached the district Sainik Welfare Board. Dhankar said many Bravehearts from Haryana had participated in the World War-I and World War-II.

A relative of Hari Singh said the latter had joined the army when he was 17. Hari Singh was a member of 4/13 FF Rifles and got martyred on September 13, 1944.

According to reports, bones were found in Poggio Alto in 1966. The Italian authorities began investigations to identify the remains in 2010. The DNA tests in 2012 revealed that the remains belonged to non-European adults aged 20-21 years who were later identified as Palu Ram of Nangthala and Hari Singh of Jhajjar.

Hari Singh attained martyrdom during World War-II in Italy in 1944. His remains were found at Poggio Alto, Italy, in 1960.

After the identification of the martyred soldier, the last rites were performed in Italy in accordance with the rules.

In order to honour Hari Singh, there are now plans to receive his statue in the village. Later, it was decided that his ashes be handed over to the Indian Army.

Kin of Hari Singh was given information in this regard in October last year.

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